How BCMPA members are coping with peak demands and changing working practices during COVID-19. In happier times we have always considered that members of the British Contract Manufacturers and Packers Association are not only fulfilment, warehouse and logistics specialists but also ‘solution providers’ – the essential outsourcing partner providing the missing link or going the extra mile to help customers with their logistical headaches.

“COVID-19 presents a prime example of how our members can demonstrate their agility and flexibility to help clients complete their projects within pressured but acceptable timescales,” said Rodney Steel, BCMPA chief executive.

Gavin Williams, MD supply chain of UK & Ireland at XPO Logistics, said “Due to COVID-19, our customer Kepak, a leading meat manufacturer, was facing an excessive and sudden increase in volume demands. Our warehouse teams wholeheartedly provided an outstanding performance and managed to pick and dispatch the goods on time without any drop of service levels while adhering to social distancing rules.”

David Brocklehurst, MD of Speedpac, highlighted the challenges, “The current pandemic has driven a range of operating changes to our business, for example to maintain social distancing sees hauliers remaining in their vehicle while loading/unloading and no signing of paperwork is carried out.” He added, “Our two shift system has been staggered to avoid an overlap of staff, although cleaning processes between loads has increased vehicle turnaround times. I am pleased we are managing the situation successfully in spite of staff shortages due to sickness or isolation.”

Paul Price MD of logistics and fulfilment specialist Lemonpath in Leicester reported “Since non-essential retailers were forced to close but allowed to continue operating online, daily e-Commerce order levels have exceeded our usual pre-Christmas peak trading. Whilst this is very good news, at what is normally a quiet time in this area of our business, due to space restrictions caused by social distancing and a reduced temporary labour pool due to furloughing by agencies, we cannot achieve the required staffing levels to process 100% of orders daily. Added to this, the sheer volume of parcel traffic being handled by Royal Mail and the parcel carriers is causing issues with delivery times, therefore we have asked our clients to revise their delivery promises to their customers accordingly.”

As usual BCMPA members are working hard to overcome the daily operational frustrations to keep businesses going and the British public fed and watered during quarantine.


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